Sean Penn's Brother, Chris, Dies at Age 40
January 25, 2006

The mysterious and sudden death of Sean Penn's younger brother, Chris, has everyone in Tinseltown mourning. Chris was just 40.

The actor was found dead in his bed in his Santa Monica, Calif., residence on Tuesday. His body was discovered around 4 p.m. by his housekeeper, who contacted his mother, Eileen Ryan, and local authorities. There were no signs of foul play.

Although he would never reach the star status of his Oscar winning brother, Sean, Chris was one of Hollywood's all-time great character actors. He garnered claim for his work in "Reservoir Dogs," "True Romance" and "Footloose."

Penn's last project, "The Darwin Awards," was set to premiere Wednesday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In one of his last interview, Penn talked about working on the movie, a comedy honoring those who improve the human genome by accidentally killing themselves in ridiculous ways.

So is Penn's death an act of art imitating life? That is still unknown, as the Santa Monica Police work to determine the cause of death.

In the meantime, Penn's family released this statement: "The Penn family would appreciate the media's respect of their privacy during this difficult time."

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